Part of Thanksgiving

How to Choose the Right Wine Glass

It's all about the glass.

Does your wine glass really matter? The answer is an absolute yes! Even subtle differences in glass design can significantly impact how you experience a wine. How, you ask? Because wine glass shape and style impact how much air comes in contact with the wine, how much aroma is released and reaches your nose, and especially where the wine first hits your tongue. All these elements ultimately impact the flavor you taste.  

Different glasses are shaped to enhance different aspects of wines. When choosing your wine glass, it's best to first and foremost take bowl shape into consideration, matching the bowl to the type of wine. Then give consideration to stemmed or stemless and to the thickness of the rim.  Do keep in mind, though, that all the guidelines about matching wine glasses to wines are simply that: Guidelines. Ultimately the best wine glass choice for any particular wine is the one in which the wine tastes best to you. Don't like how a wine tastes? Before you blame the wine, give it a try in a different glass!       

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1 Consider the Bowl Shape

The width of a wine glass's bowl impacts the amount of the wine's surface area exposed to air.  It also affects how much of the wine's aroma is experienced by your nose. With wide bowls, much of the wine is exposed to air and a lot of aroma reaches your nose. With narrower bowls, less wine is exposed to air and less surface area is present to release aroma to your nose.

When in doubt about what type of glass shape is best for a wine, choose a medium-sized all-purpose wine glass designed for use with both red and white wines. With plenty of room to allow the wine to breathe, these versatile glasses will provide an adequate drinking experience for most wines.

2 Choose a Wide Bowl for Reds

Red wines typically require a large wide bowl to best allow their bigger bolder aromas and flavors to emerge. Wider wine glass bowls allow more aromas to waft up to your nose and also help aerate the wine as you drink, helping release more flavor.

3 Choose a Narrower Bowl for Whites

Because most white wines have more delicate flavors and aromas, a narrower glass helps channel these subtler aromas more toward your nose. It also exposes less of the wine's surface area to air and helps preserve white wines' chill.

4 Choose a Tall Narrow Flute for Sparkling

Who doesn't love the fun little bubbles in sparkling wine? However, sparkling wine loses its carbonation once exposed to oxygen. So to keep effervescence intact as long as possible, choose a tall narrow fluted bowl to best preserve all those beautiful bubbles.


5 Consider the Stem

When it comes to choosing a stemmed versus stemless glass, it's mostly a matter of personal preference. However, drinking from a stemless glass can increase the wine's temperature because of your hand holding the bowl (and in turn the wine) instead of holding the glass's stem. Making stemless less ideal for white wine drinking — however, it is really up to you and what you prefer for your wine drinking experience!

Stemmed glasses seem more formal whereas stemless are a bit more casual. Consider the type of event when choosing your glasses, if you'd like. Hosting a cookout in your backyard, for example? Stemless may be the way to go.

6 Consider the Rim

The thickness of a wine glass's rim impacts how the wine flows onto your tongue while you drink it, and can therefore impact how you taste the wine. A more thinly cut rim with no lip allows wine to flow smoothly onto your tongue. Thicker, more rolled rims inhibit smooth flow onto your tongue and can accentuate acidity and harshness in the wine.

Once you've selected your glass and poured that wine, enjoy the best part — drinking it!  And remember, if you don't like how a wine tastes, try it in a different glass! It may just change your whole flavor experience of the wine.

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.